The VTech DM221 emerged as the best sound-only baby monitor in our review here at MotherhoodHQ. The VTech DM221 has excellent sound clarity with some of the best and loudest sounds in the group.
VTech DM221 is currently the 3rd best-selling baby monitor as of March 9th, 2020, coming behind other top monitors such as Infant Optics and VTech DM111. I deleted March 9th, 2020 because this brand is still the 3rd best-selling brand when I checked in October 2022, some 30+ months!
About VTech DM221
VTech DM221 was one of the earliest baby monitors released by VTech in September 2012. According to Helium10 data, it currently ships an average of 1400 units a month on Amazon. As you can see in the graph below, VTech DM221 has taken lead as the preferred audio baby monitor that has maintained several high-level reviews, 4/5.
This monitor has sound activation and two-way talk to baby, the two most sought-after features in monitors. If that isn’t enough to sway you it has a remotely controlled nightlight, belt clip, and mute features. This monitor might be a little more complicated to use thanks to the menu options and programming, but it is a good option for most families looking for good sound clarity and lower price.
- 2-way talkback
- Comes with two parents units
- 5-level indicator
- Rechargeable batteries
- Long-range of up to 1000 ft. outdoors and 150ft. indoors
- Parent unit can beep if the battery is low or if the connection between the parent unit and the baby unit is lost
Video Review of VTech DM221-2
VTech DM221 Vs VTech DM223
VTech DM221 was released in September 2012 while VTech DM223 was released four years later in May 2016. VTech DM221 is pocket-friendly given that it sells for less than $40, which is significantly cheaper than equivalent audio baby monitors by brands such as Philips Avent (see the comparison in the last section of this review). VTech DM223 comes in two color sets, pink and a silver-white option with both having two parent units.
The VTech DM221 with two units, the VTech DM221-2 goes for $42 and is actually one of the best-selling baby monitors of 2019. On the other hand, the DM223 with only one parent unit sells for $39. Even though DM223 has more positive reviews with an average of 4.3/5, most parents prefer the VTech DM221-2 and the VTech DM221 models. Both units are prime eligible.
|VTech DM221||VTech DM223|
|Released in Sept. 2012||Released in May 2016|
|2-way communication||2-way communication|
|1000 ft range outdoor and 150 ft. indoors||1000 ft. outdoor and 150 ft. indoor range|
|10.2 x 2.4 x 8.2 inches||Dimension: 4.4 x 2.6 x 1.8 in|
|Uses DECT 6.0 Technology||Uses DECT 6.0 Technology|
|Belt clip||Belt clip|
|Can come with two parent units||Can come with two parent units|
|Sound and vibration alerts||Vibrating sound alert|
|Backlit display on the parent unit||No backlit display.|
|Check price||Check Price|
VTech DM221 Vs. VTech DM111
While there are a few (maybe 3) main differences between VTech DM221 and VTech DM111, there is no recognizable difference in the audio quality. The table below shows the differences and similarities between VTech DM221 and VTech DM111
|VTech DM221||VTech DM111|
|Released to the market in September 2012||Released to the market in March 2014 but replaced with DM1111 in 2019|
|1000 ft range outdoors||1000 ft. range|
|Can have 2 parent units||Support up to 2 parent units|
|Belt clip||Belt clip|
|More than $20||Less than $20|
|Two-way communication||One way communication|
|Baby unit powered by AC||Baby unit powered by AC|
|Parent unit powered by AC or batteries||Baby Unit powered by AC or batteries|
|One year warranty||One Year warranty|
|Night light/backlit display||No backlit or night light.|
|Encrypted signal||Encrypted signal|
|Check Price||Check Price|
Where to Buy
You can buy the VTech DM221 baby monitor on any major retailer such as Amazon, Walmart or Target. If you are outside the US and in the following countries, you can go to the respective Amazon store:
VTech DM221 Canada: In Canada, you can get your VTech DM221 using this Amazon link
VTech DM221 Australia: For those in Australia, you can purchase VTech DM221 using Amazon Australia or in your local Target store if you live in a city such as Sydney.
VTech DM221 UK: If you live in the UK, you can get this audio baby monitor from the Amazon UK site using this link.
Rest of the world: If you live in any other country in the world such as Dubai, you can use the US link here.
VTech DM221 Manual
You can download the VTech DM221 manual.
VTech DM221 Battery and Battery Life
From the marketing materials such as those you’ll find on Amazon, VTech DM221-2 has a battery life of up to 18 hours which is considered very long. You should note that the parent unit is powered by batteries or the AC and you’ll be relying on AC entirely to power the baby unit. After using VTech DM221-2 for a period of 3 to 6 months parents have uncovered that the VTech DM221’s battery life is less than 2 hours and have had to depend on the AC to power the parent unit as well. Given that the VTech audio baby monitors are sold at a very low price, you should plan for some disappointment with battery life. You should also read out guide on baby monitor batteries.
VTech DM221 Charger (AC Adapter)
If you currently own a VTech DM221, you may have realized that its chargers or VTech DM221 power adapters do not last. This goes back to the problem of opting for cheap baby monitors. You can, however, get a VTech DM221 charger on Amazon here. The T Power VTech charger is compatible with both the baby and the parent unit. It also has a long cord of up to 6.6ft. If you are having any problems with VTech DM221, you should contact VTech customer service. You may need to read our few tips on how to deal with VTech customer service.
- About the Author
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Naomi Lambert is a mother of two and an elementary school teacher leading our product quality review here at Motherhood HQ. Naomi has a degree in Elementary Teaching from the University of Utah. She has also worked as a product tester for Consumer Reports. Naomi enjoys reading and getting immersed in new research, especially on topics related to parenting and pets. When she’s not reading or testing baby gear, Naomi enjoys hiking in the midwest and hanging out with her two dog pets. Naomi is originally from Salt Lake City, Utah.
Naomi work leading baby gear/product testing:
To test new gear before we review here at Motherhood HQ, Naomi goes through a multi-step process that includes reading up on the latest research, conducting her own hands-on testing, and evaluating the results. She also consults with experts in the field, such as pediatricians, to get their input. This comprehensive approach ensures that our reviews are accurate and helpful for our readers.
Testing involves using the gear with her own children, as well as observing other parents using the products. Ms. Lambert looks for safety concerns, ease of use, and whether the product actually lives up to its claims. She also takes into account the price of the product and whether it is a good value for what you get.
After testing a product, Naomi writes up her findings in a review. She includes both the positive and negative aspects of the product, as well as her own personal recommendations. Her reviews are honest and unbiased, and they can help you make informed decisions about which products are right for your family.
Aggregating Other real-user reviews from other moms:
A critical process in our reviews is incorporating feedback from other moms who have used the products we are testing. To get this information, we talk to parents in our networks and consult with product-specific experts.These experts must have published work in the field of early childhood development, have worked extensively with the product in question, or have significant experience in the manufacturing or design of the product.
We also read online reviews from other parents, but we take these with a grain of salt. We recognize that many online reviewers are not objective and that some may be biased because they were given the product for free or paid to write a review. For this reason, we only consider online reviews after they have been vetted by our team of experts.
If you are a parent who has used a product that we are interested in reviewing, we would love to hear from you! You can contact us at naomi.lam@motherhood